Written by The Independent Staff
Wednesday, 31 March 2010
Lafayette is in danger of turning into Grosse Tete. With all the ego stroking we’ve been getting thanks to our much-talked-about and envied fiber to the premise project, our collective head is due for some swelling. Three weeks ago City-Parish President Joey Durel was in Washington, D.C., at the invitation of the Federal Communications Commission and the Knight Foundation for a broadband congress. That was flattering. But last week the company got more exclusive and the accolades more effusive when representative of Lafayette Consolidated Government and Lafayette Utilities System joined a select group at Google’s D.C. bunker for a second summit sponsored by The Paley Center for Media and The Ford Foundation. Only Lafayette and San Francisco were invited. “We were the envy of the crowd,” Durel gushed after the event. In a few weeks some of the leading lights in the tech firmament will be in Lafayette for FiberFête, yet another sign that the Hub City is ready to vie for the title, “most wired city in America.”
Is Lafayette’s arena football team owned by Dan Snyder? If you’re a pro football fan, you know where we’re headed: Snyder, the Washington Redskins owner, goes through head coaches faster than he goes through underwear. It was an eyebrow raiser last week when Wildcatters management announced the ouster of second-year head coach John Fourcade, a former Ole Miss and New Orleans Saints quarterback. (The team was called the Mudbugs for its inaugural season last year.) Coaches come and go, that’s part of the deal, but Fourcade’s firing came after the first game of the season, a loss to the Greenville Force. Talk about trigger happy. There must be something we’re missing because Fourcade’s replacement was announced the same day as his firing. The Wildcatters don’t open up their home season until May 1 in the Cajundome — they played last season in shabby Blackham Coliseum — so there’s time to right the ship. But, like the IceGators who also endured unseemly, public coaching and management changes during their recently concluded season, Fourcade’s canning doesn’t bode well.
Terry Lisotta is an anachronism — he belongs to a bygone Louisiana when graft and corruption and milking the public teat were de rigueur for elected and appointed officials alike. So while Louisiana tries to shake that image, the former CEO of Citizens Insurance, the insurer of last resort in hurricane-plagued Louisiana, was shaking his booty in Bermuda and otherwise bilking the state-created, non-profit corporation out of about $30,000 by using the company credit card for his personal dalliances. Among the allegations against Lisotta, who pleaded guilty last week and will be sentenced to five years in prison: a clandestine Sandestin weekend, quail hunts in Cajun Country, flights of fancy to Europe, New York and the Caribbean for him, his wife and his girlfriend (separately, of course, the man has some scruples), and blowing a grand at Sam’s to supply his daughter’s prom party. Lisotta was apologetic during his plea hearing. Our guess is, he’s sorry he got caught.
The Lafayette City-Parish Council will consider on Tuesday a revised plan to the transform a block in Downtown Lafayette into a mixed-use residential-retail-commercial development that doesn’t include giving title to the property to the Lafayette Public Trust Finance Authority, an arrangement the council rejected earlier this month.
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He’s pulling for Knezek and Hidalgo on his end of the parish but issued endorsements in three other districts as well.